Your Name Here

Naming the baby

Make a name for yourself

… or better yet, let us help. (Shameless plug for today’s blog. Check.)

With that out of the way, let’s continue with the topic of naming. Sounds simple enough, just call it something, slap up a sign and get to work.

But wait, what can be named, other than babies and businesses? Actually, there’s quite a list of potential items worthy of their own distinct identity, aka, name.

For instance: Technologies. Programs. Apps. Sub-Brands. Products. Processes. Divisions. Initiatives. Events. Internal and External projects. And of course, companies. BTW: Babies are easy.

For our purposes on this page, we’re going to focus on the mothership, the parent company, and the primary business name.


Your story, your book—what’s it called?

We’ve all passed up even cracking the seal on a book with a bad cover, or a name that doesn’t resonate with us. And, that’s okay. Perhaps we aren’t the designated audience for that book. But equally true—the book has a lousy cover and a worse name.

We scroll through Netflix offerings, and among other considerations, we ruthlessly reject films based on titles. “Dumb.” “Idiotic.” “Too weird.” “Not weird enough.” “Unnecessarily sad.” “Painfully cheerful.” “Gross.” “Trying too hard.” Etcetera. Etcetera. Naming matters.

As a business, there could be a number of reasons to name or rename your company. Certainly, if your business is brand new and establishing the branding foundations, that we so confidently espouse here at Sussner, you are searching for your unique name. But you could also be merging with another, experiencing internal changes, shifting product emphasis, reacting to evolving external conditions, or other motivators.


Not a name game

Naming is not easy. When a final name rises to the top and lands on the marquee, many will say, “Well that’s just a word or two, how hard could that be?” Oh, don’t get us started. We love naming. If we’re naming a company, that means we are truly digging into all things brand, and every chapter of your story.

Naming is equal parts science, research, art and mysticism.

Our approach is built on three basic pillars:

  1. MUST

You have specific mandates that this name must achieve. These are requirement, not preferences. We’re listening…


Your new name has to express your culture, ideals and brand foundations. The why. The purpose. The mission. The mojo within.

  1. AVOID

There will be non-starters and no-go zones. For instance: Trendy language that won’t be trendy in an hour. Similarities to competitors. Convoluted spelling tricks. And other considerations based on industry issues and company aesthetics.

Ultimately, a name cannot disappear into the market wallpaper, confuse readers, be ambiguous, stand for nothing, be difficult to accurately pronounce, cause embarrassment among employees, and your concern here ________.


Name it

Once we’re been thoroughly downloaded by our client, asked our questions and establish a strategy—we think. Initially we blue sky the name, not overly editing ourselves knowing that an idea I’m not sure of, but have a fondness for, might trigger others to genius.

We expose our lightly edited list to a cursory search on availability via social media, Google and the United States Patent and Trademark office. At this level we can determine the reasonable viability of going forward with preferred names. We look for obvious conflicts within your industry and adjacent industries. Ultimately, as we close in, our legal experts advise on the realistic road forward.

Lastly, is a search for an attainable URL. In the vast majority of cases, a new business name will require some sort of modifier to secure a URL, especially in the .com realm.

We refine a short list with creative rationales for our client, sit down together and discuss. We show nothing we don’t believe in, but there are times when one name, in our minds, stands head and shoulders above others. But even then, we challenge that name to be absolutely confident in its prowess.


It’s not all in the name

If we return to our earlier book cover analogy—a book cover does not tell the whole story. There’s an entire tale to be told.

A great name can carry your banner with boldness, humor, intrigue, confidence, excitement, or whatever characteristic you want to face forward—but it cannot do everything. Keep in mind that you may be accompanying your name with a smart tagline that further informs or pushes the creative. Great names draw people in and get them interested in more.

While it’s not all in the name, don’t take naming lightly. Babies are easier than businesses, and we’ve done both.


Our name is,

—Team Sussner


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